Formation of planar and spiral Ca2+ waves in isolated cardiac myocytes

Biophysical Journal
H IshidaW H Barry


A novel Nipkow-type confocal microscope was applied to image spontaneously propagating Ca2+ waves in isolated rat ventricular myocytes by means of fluo-3. The sarcolemma was imaged with di-8-ANEPPS and the nucleus with SYTO 11. Full frame images in different vertical sections were obtained at video frame rate by means of an intensified CCD camera. Three types of Ca2+ waves were identified: spherical waves, planar waves, and spiral waves. Both spherical waves and spiral waves could initiate a planar wave, and planar waves were not influenced by the presence of a nucleus. Spiral waves, however, were consistently found adjacent to a nucleus and displayed a slower propagation rate and slower rate of increase in Ca2+ concentration in the wave front than did spherical and planar waves. The planar waves were apparent throughout the vertical axis of the cell, whereas spiral waves appeared to have a vertical height of approximately 3 microm, less than the maximum thickness of the nucleus (5.0 +/- 0.3 microm). These results provide experimental confirmation of previous modeling studies which predicted an influence of the nucleus on spiral-type Ca2+ waves. When a spontaneous Ca2+ wave is small relative to the size of the nucleus, it appea...Continue Reading


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